In pop-culture life, there seem to be some polarizing areas of opinion. I’m talking about areas that most people seem to fall into either one camp or another, but rarely both. Big questions like: Beatles vs. Stones? Star Wars vs. Star Trek? Britney vs. Christina? (For the record, I’m Beatles, Star Trek and Britney — all the way, baby.)
In the fitness world there are lots of little niches and areas to really get into, but when it comes to an either-or camp, I’ve found that no two workouts seem to be more polarizing than Pilates vs. yoga.
At first, I thought it was just me. For years, I’ve understood how great of a workout Pilates is. I’ve been to classes with some amazing instructors, learned great things about proper alignment and true core strength, and gotten some really fantastic Pilates workouts. Yet, despite what class I tried or workout DVD I did, I just never really enjoyed Pilates. I knew that it should be the kind of thing I dig and that it was beneficial, but, man I just have never been able to get into it.
Yoga though? Oh, yoga. I heart thee. Let me count the ways. I look forward to a good yoga workout — crave it even. I feel fantastic and connected and alive in yoga, and even just 20 minutes of yoga seems to reset both my body and mind. Doesn’t even matter the style of yoga. I love it all.
A couple of years ago, I started to notice a trend when talking to people about their favorite workouts. A lot of people liked running or walking or lifting weights and all that, but generally when it came to Pilates and yoga (which often seem to be lumped together as “mind/body”), they either loved one or the other — but not both. I have one friend who adores Pilates — so much so that she bought a reformer for her home. I have another who only does yoga and nothing more. Then, there’s FBG Tish, who is a self-proclaimed yoga hater.
Like me, it’s not that these gals haven’t given Pilates or yoga a shot; they have! It’s just not something they can dig and get into. And you know what, that’s totally okay!
I think sometimes we beat ourselves up for not liking the cool new workout trend or totally dreading the one workout our best friend loves. And while I do think it’s important to try new things and give them a fair shot, if you try something a few of times and you really don’t like it? Well, for the love of all things Fit Bottomed, find something you like!
You know how fitness doesn’t have to “look” one way? Well, it’s the same with workouts likes and dislikes. We’re all different people and life is too darn short to do workouts you don’t like, especially when there are so many options out there. So if you’re forcing yourself to like a workout and just can’t dig it, consider this your permission to break up with it. Find something you love and do that instead!
And, then tell me — because I’m dying to know — what Pilates vs. yoga camp do you fall in? Or am I totally wrong and you love both?! —Jenn